Recently, Ashton Lambie headed to Iceland to take part in the 200 kilometer Rift ride. Coming from Texas, he was packing for a totally different set of circumstances, which meant optimizing his packing to include things like wool socks and baselayers that would wick sweat and also keep him warm if temperatures dropped. Wool socks were also faster drying than synthetics after the river crossings!
Pro tip: Always check the weather in your destination and pack for the full range of temps. In the summer especially, it would have been easy for Ashton to pack shorts and short sleeves since Texas is boiling hot right now, but Iceland's temp range is on the lower side, and the Rift race was held on a day where he was wearing long sleeves and full tights!
And while he normally doesn't carry much sports nutrition-specific fuel, it was a little dicey hitting up a corner store in Iceland and hoping that he could find some god ride snacks. He didn't have a problem—he found some great licorice—and was able to stash it in his bar bag so he had easy access to it all day on the bike.
When it comes to how he figures out what to bring, he keeps it as simple as possible. "I always start packing with what I'm going to wear on the plane," he says. "Then it's kit for on the bike race day, then training, and lastly casual clothes. It gets easier the more you do it!"
Packing the bike bag itself is always a challenge. Ashton opts for a soft but padded bike bag that has plenty of attached straps so packing is quick and easy, and he fills in empty space as weight allows by adding in his kit and casual clothes. (Pro tip: If you don't have a luggage scale, just step on a regular scale, check your weight, then step on it again while holding your bike bag, and figure out the difference. This gives you a more accurate weight reading than trying to hold your bike on the scale and check the reading.)
Most airlines will charge an overweight fee if your bike back hits over 50 pounds, even if they don't charge an actual bike handling fee. And some airlines will hit you with both the bike fee and an overweight charge! Make sure you carefully read the airline's rules about flying with your bike before heading to the airport (and screenshot relevant info in case you have to explain it to the check-in agent. Sometimes new staff isn't well-informed about bike policy.)
Here's Ashton's bike bag—note that the helmet is just on display in the picture, though. NEVER put a helmet in a soft bike bag on a flight, as it could get compressed and cracked. Always stash it in your carryon.
WHAT HE BROUGHT:
-Lauf Seigla gravel bike
-DMT K0 mtb shoes
-Garmin Edge 1040 computer
-Chpt3 Wool jersey and bib tights
-Kask utopia helmet
-Zipp 101 XPLR wheels with Vittoria Terreno Zero 47mm tires
-Bar bag for snacks
-Most importantly, the licorice from the 10/11 (corner store in Iceland). Ashton is not a big 'sport nutrition' guy for calories, he just uses whey protein and other supplements from Kaged. Otherwise, he usually just rides with an open bag of some sort of Haribo or fruit snack in his top tube bag.
- Wool socks and a light wool baselayer